When students are in charge of maintaining the computers in schools

A nice internationally flavored post came our way recently. Michael Trucano writes in Edutech: A World Bank Blog on ICT use in Education on When students are in charge of maintaining the computers in schools

Recounting the ways that schools try to adapt to more and more computers to support, he writes,

“Another approach was explained to me by a headmaster in a rural school in Eritrea, who said he kept the computers locked in his office to ensure that they did not ‘break’. (I checked them out and, sure enough, all appeared to be in great shape!)”

Yes, that’s certainly one way to keep computers from breaking – just keep them away from pesky users!

But that’s not going to help students learn. So how can schools support computers, even when faced with limited tech support resources and teacher professional development?

“One approach that is not well known, but which perhaps should be, is to have students assume primary responsibility for the technical maintenance of a school’s computer-related infrastructure.

A recent presentation and discussion at the World Bank by AED’s Eric Rusten and Josh Woodard explored lessons from schools in Macedonia and Indonesia (Sumatra) that have been doing just this.”

The article goes on to mention GenYES, our approach to teaching students how be part of the technology support solution, and several stories about student technical support making a difference in Macedonia and Sumatra.

This is an idea whose time has come!